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September 28, 2007

HCV Screenings Could Be a Lifesaver

New research published in this month’s Journal of Viral Hepatitis reveals that people living with HIV have an increased risk of death if they are not tested for the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

The study, conducted by researchers in Lyon, France, examined 3,244 patients who were receiving HIV care from 1992 through 2005. Researchers found that significantly more unscreened patients had died during follow-up compared to those screened for HCV.

While researchers initially speculated that a lack of HCV screening was due to suboptimal care, this study shows that unscreened patients in the sample group typically had low CD4 counts at baseline, making screening for HCV less of a priority for their HIV care providers.

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